Getting into the spirit of things

The days are growing shorter, the nights colder, and sometime over the past week, the holiday season seems to have landed here in our fair city.

Arriving at work just the other day I was greeted by boughs and garlands hanging from every (street) corner; New Westminster skytrain station is bedazzled and bedecked with lights of all shapes and sizes; and no matter what coffee shop I patronize, I’m sure to find red cups, and holiday flavoured drinks and snacks.A word to the wise dear readers – avoid anything “marshmallow”. I ordered one of these drinks last week (a toasted marshmallow latte to be specific), and while it was a valiant effort on the part on my barista, espresso and synthetic Jetpuff syrup is not a combination meant for this world.

Goodness knows.

And as we creep ever closer to December, and all the festivities that automatically come with our twelfth month, you might be asking yourself what kind of gifts you will be purchasing for all your friends and family.

This is me heralding the holidays into town. It’s a special tradition.

This can be a delicate dance for some. I know for me, this is one of my most favourite parts of the holidays. I get a thrum in my tummy just thinking about the chance I’ll have to find something beautiful and fitting for all the wonderful people in my life.

I want to make sure that whatever it is I end up purchasing is beautiful and interesting and original – something the person may not have previously thought about, or knew even existed.

I love December, and all the razzle-dazzle of the month, because of the time I get to spend with family (this year M and I are flying down east to spend Christmas with my mother and sisters), the outings and parties with good friends, and the quiet time (if only an hour or two!) I get to spend with my husband.

As we creep ever closer to candy canes, tree trimmings, snowmen, and Christmas carols, I am gearing myself up to watch my three favourite holiday movies OF. ALL. TIME.

Now, whilst I understand that there are a number of fab films out there that do well to sum up the holiday spirit, in my humble opinion these three movies will never be beat:

1. Muppets Christmas Carol.

I LOVE this flick.

Michael Caine as Scrooge! Gonzo as Charles Dickens! Rizzo as his ever-hungry side-kick! Ice skating penguins! Singing cabbages! Cheese-less peasant mice!

Meep.

Normally I’m not even that big a fan of singing in movies, but heck, that rule is thrown out the window with gusto when it comes to Jim Henson and his gang.

How can you not dig that tune?

(Seriously, if you don’t, you will be visited by three ghosts tonight. Get ready for one heck of a ride when the bell strikes one.)

2. Home Alone

Now, this may have quite a lot to do with the fact that I have the sense of humour of a eleven year old boy, but this movie never, ever, fails to crack me up.

Watching Marv and Harry get the absolute crap kicked out of them makes me laugh so hard I cry.

(So I might be a bit of a sadist as well.)

For the past fifteen years I haven’t been able to eat cheese pizza without saying: “A whole cheese pizza just for me!” or thinking that eating two tictacs will ruin my dinner.

Plus: Catherine O’Hara. My comedy goddess and make-believe mum.

3. Love Actually

LOVE IS ACTUALLY ALL AROUND WHEN YOU WATCH THIS MOVIE.

This is M’s an my “official” Christmas movie, and we watch it every year sometime in the lead up to the 25th. We love it. We quote it year-round.

A golden oldie for a golden oldie! Just in cases! WISCONSIN BABES! Dip it in yogurt and cover it in chocolate buttons! Sexy Carl! Hurry up big boy! Arbore…montagno…bello…bella…Frankie Valley…oh shut up…!

I always say that if I were to go back and do more graduate work, I would do it in film studies and I would write my thesis on how this movie is evidence of a perfectly scored film.

Every song works so well in every scene, it’s a bit mind boggling. Nora Jones to dance to! Dido when she find out you’re in love with her! All you need is love at your wedding! Joni Mitchell in the face of infidelity!

SO. BRILLIANT.

So excited! Now I cannot wait even more.

What about you folks? What movies do you like to watch this time of year?

You supply the titles, while I make the popcorn.

This is going to be good.